Aphiwe Dyantyi’s statement of defence has been submitted and the wing now awaits a hearing date related to the adverse findings for banned substances last year. CRAIG LEWIS reports.
At the end of August, the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport confirmed that Dyantyi’s B sample had returned a positive test for banned substances after the initial bombshell findings following a national training camp in July.
At the time, the World Rugby Breakthrough Player of 2018 released a statement in which he denied taking any banned substances and requested that his B sample be tested.
‘I want to deny ever taking any prohibited substance, intentionally or negligently, to enhance my performance on the field. I believe in hard work and fair play,’ he stated.
‘I have never cheated and never will. The presence of this prohibited substance in my body has come as a massive shock to me and together with my management team and experts appointed by them, we are doing everything we can to get to the source of this and to prove my innocence.
‘I underwent a drug test on the 15th of June 2019 [two weeks before he was tested on 2 July] which did not return any adverse finding,’ he added.
In November, Dyantyi also provided an update on social media about the challenges endured since being provisionally suspended from all forms of rugby, pending a hearing.
‘One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you cannot change,’ Dyantyi wrote. ‘Five months later and not much has changed, except my battles and struggles empower and give me strength. My tears, my heartbreak sometimes holds me back (as if saying “it’s ok to fail”). Life would be easier if I just listened to them, but I’m reminded each day that life wouldn’t be what it is if there weren’t spoils and spills every now & then.
‘In recent months Ive found myself smiling more often, even when I’m sad I’m happy, even when I feel like crying I find myself smiling. I believe my heart is at peace even though some days I still wake up feeling sad & hopeless, at least I wake up wanting to live. A lot has changed, a lot hasn’t at the same time like the love and support I got and have continued to get.’
A representative for Dyantyi has confirmed to SARugbymag.co.za that they had ‘submitted our statement of defence’ and were ‘just waiting for a date to be set for the hearing’.
The South African Institute for Drug Free Sport was also approached for further information, and that feedback should soon be provided.
Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix